I hope you are well and have settled into the New Year!
I always find that January is a month of reflection on the past year. This time last year I looked back on the previous 12 months with my 2017 rewind and got some really good feedback on it. This year, I want to do the same and look back on 2018. So, grab a cuppa tea, a cheeky biscuit, get comfy and ready to look back on what I can only describe as a rollercoaster of a year!
The first word that comes to mind when I think of 2018 is horrendous! This sounds awful I know and I’m sure many of you are thinking it couldn’t have been that bad surely? But for me, it really felt like a tough year. I don’t like to be negative, however I want to be honest in these posts and so I am going to share the good, bad and ugly. For me, 2018 wasn’t great and I couldn’t wait for it to end.
One of the hardest things I learnt in 2018 is that friendship isn’t always plain sailing. People change, and with that, so does friendship. When this happens it doesn’t always mean you lose a friend completely, but you may not be as close. Sadly, this happened to me and it was tough. It was totally unexpected, hit me hard and left me feeling rather alone. Looking back, I found myself trying to get things back to how they were and feeling rather upset when it didn’t happen. As a result of these actions, I lost the closeness of other relationships and was so worried of missing out with certain friendships, I missed out on others. But during the hard times of 2018, I learnt who my true friends really were as it showed who was actually bothered and cared for me.
Despite it being a tough time that heightened other challenges such as anxiety and panic attacks, I learnt a very important lesson. As we grow older, we don’t lose friends, we learn who the real ones are. I now know I should just be who I want to be, do what I want to do and if they are true friends, they will always be there for me.
February was what I can only describe as the worst month I have ever had. I know it sounds very dramatic, but it was a time where I kept saying it can’t get any worse and it did. I was very stressed with a particular piece of uni work, cheerleading competitions were just around the corner and I was 2 months into doing crazy hours at a new job working in the wedding industry (my dream!). I had just bought a new car specially for work and so was also under a bit of financial pressure as most of my savings went into this. On top of all of this, I had other uni modules, was trying to volunteer and have some sort of social life! Little things soon turned to bigger things…
I had an allergic reaction and ended up in A&E. I had a car crash resulting in insurance stress, whiplash and buying a new car for work, putting me under greater financial stress. Two weeks after my crash and a week after buying a new car for work, I was let go due to being too committed to university. But it can’t get any worse can it? Apparently it can, and I lost a member of my family.
If I’m being completely honest, all of this hitting me at once broke me. With anxiety and stress at an all-time high as I was still attending all of my lectures and more, cheerleading and preparing for competition, I went home and didn’t want to come back. I had a good pep talk with my parents and friends from home, and I decided I wasn’t going to let this beat me. Yes, university stress continued and I did feel lonely, anxious and lost at some times. But I kept going, met all my deadlines and made some amazing memories.
I volunteered at the IAAF Championships where I met some amazing people and saw some great athletes compete.
I had a blast at the summer ball, competing with my favourite cakes and winning some trophies!!
I had some crazy nights out with my housemates, filled with laughter, dancing, cocktails and even went to Leicester for the first time!
I had a lovely holiday with my mum in the Canary Islands where we relaxed by the pool, did a bit of shopping, topped up the summer tan and of course watched the football!
I had some great time with family, surprising my cousins, seeing the little ones, watching Little Mix and having a great Christmas and New Year filled with laughter and games.
One big thing I did in 2018 was get a good hair cut, which saw it go from my waist to my shoulders. I was so nervous, but given everything, I wanted something fresh to show a new start. Never would I ever think I would have gone for short hair, as I have wanted Rapunzel hair since I was little. But now, having even more off, I absolutely love it!
September brought about the start of my final year and things began to look up more. I got a new job working with some amazing people. I have had some amazing nights with my housemates, booked a girly summer holiday and got my first First of third year! I also started my own blog, worked with an amazing events planner on some incredible events and had an amazing 21st birthday!
So, looking back on it all, I can say that the start of the year was hard. I learnt some tough lessons and met my breaking point. I would never want to do it again, but I can hold my head up, say not only did I get through it, but I didn’t let it beat me and was very happy with my overall uni percentage for my second year.
No matter how hard it gets, keep your head up and know that it will get better. It may not be straight away, but give it time.